Childbirth in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah UAE : What Happens To Your Body During Childbirth? What Does Childbirth Feel Like? Dealing With Pain During Childbirth? What to Expect During a Vaginal Delivery?
Childbirth in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah UAE : List of Best Maternity Hospitals in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah UAE for Childbirth & Best Maternity Costs. Childbirth – What can you expect?. This animation shows what exactly happens in the body of the mother during natural childbirth. The whole process will be described: from the first contraction to the afterbirth. How painful is birth? What are the very early signs of Labour? How long is the average labor for a first baby? How much do you need to be dilated to give birth? How many fingers is 4 cm dilated? How many cm Do you have to be dilated to get an epidural? Do epidurals affect the baby? How long does an epidural last for?
Giving birth is a perfectly natural process which can be completed successfully without any medical intervention. The problem with natural vaginal childbirth is that it can be quite painful and stressful. That is why supporters of this method have come up with techniques which deal with these issues. The Bradley method of childbirth is one of them. Learn more about it to decide whether it would be appropriate for you.
This method of natural childbirth was developed in the late 1940’s in the US by the obstetrician Dr. Robert Bradley. Its purpose is to prepare mothers and their partners physically, mentally and emotionally for birthing and for parenting as a whole. The method promotes natural and healthy birthing without the use of any medications. It uses a variety of techniques for relaxation and strategies for coping with pain during labor. It focuses extensively on the role of the partner especially as a coach.
The Bradley method of childbirth has extended to a whole program for future parents. It covers a huge number of topics from diet and exercise during pregnancy to breastfeeding and caring for a newborn. The program is actually one of the most comprehensive you will find.
The classes teaching the program based on the Bradley method of childbirth last for 12 weeks. It is recommended that they are started during the fifth month of pregnancy. Each class is taught by a certified teacher with experience. Usually, the size of the class is limited to eight couples. This allows everyone to get great attention from the teacher.
The curriculum of the program based on the Bradley method has a large number of important topics. You will learn about nutrition during pregnancy and how it affects the baby and about the importance of exercise. The classes cover the most frequent pregnancy symptoms and how to cope with them. The relaxation techniques for pain management during birthing form a major component of the program. Your partner will learn how to participate actively in the childbirth process and how to coach you effectively when necessary.
As part of the program, you will learn about the stages of labor and the strategies for going through each one smoothly. You will get complete information about the typical medical interventions and how to avoid them. Major focus is placed on avoiding cesarean section. With the help of your teacher, you and your partner will prepare a birth plan and learn how to communicate and work in a team. Other major components of the program include breastfeeding, childcare and adjusting to parenting.
Almost from the moment you find out that you are pregnant, you will be thinking about giving birth. After all, that is the whole point of these very special nine months in your life – bringing your little baby into the world.
Some women find the idea of childbirth quite nerve-racking, especially if they have never had a baby before. Others will think of the whole process as something very exciting and mysterious.
For many of us, our perceptions of labour and birth are shaped by films and TV. The woman is often portrayed screaming and red in the face, and the whole experience appears painful and tense. Usually, there’s dramatic background music, adding to the feeling, making the whole experience more reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene than the birth of a new baby.
Then of course, there are all the childbirth stories that other people seem to glory in telling you. They seem to delight in telling you everything that went wrong, sharing it in gory detail. Never mind that most of these incidents are not the norm and don’t happen that often.
So how should we prepare to give birth? What do we need to know or do first? Let’s take a look at some ideas and methods to make childbirth the positive experience that it really is.
The Secret of Giving Birth is Education
As is the case with all major life experiences, to get through pregnancy, labour and childbirth as easily as possible you need to be informed. You need to know what is going to happen and the various choices that are open to you.
Here are some useful ideas:
- Read as many good books and websites on pregnancy and birth as you can.
- Watch some videos of women giving birth. You will probably find some on YouTube. (However, if you generally don’t enjoy watching medical procedures on TV, that might not be such a good idea.
- Take Childbirth Education Classes
Take Childbirth Classes
Take Childbirth Education Classes 😐 Speak to close friends and discuss the options that they found worked for them. (This should be a positive discussion, rather than a laundry list of everything that was no good for them!)
As you do more research, you will find out what kind of birthing experience suits your needs best. For example, you may find the idea of a natural birth most appealing. If so, you may want to look into the options for a more natural form of pain relief, without side effects. You would also find out where and how to learn Lamaze breathing exercises, which can be extremely effective if you would rather not use an epidural and if you want a more active birth. Perhaps you would like to know more about hypnobirthing.
Taking this further, you may decide that you want a home birth rather than going to a hospital. If so, you would then look into home births in your area: the midwives closest to you and who could give you reliable recommendations about them. You would also research the cost and also find out what is or is not allowed in your country and health authority.
Alternatively, you may prefer a more managed type of labour and birth. In which case, you would investigate more conventional methods of pain relief such as epidural, pethidine, TENS machines, or gas and air. Once you have found the kind that appeals to you, you would find out which hospital provides it and would be the best place to offer you the labour that you want. Of course, there are other factors involved in choosing a hospital. For instance, how close it is to your home and how easy it would be for you to get there? And is it included in your health insurance, or is it a private hospital? Can you afford private care, if that is what you specifically want? Or are you satisfied with the care offered by your local public hospital?
Other Aspects of Preparing to Give Birth
Before giving birth, it is also important to learn what labour actually entails. You should read about the stages of labour and the signs leading up to it so that you will be fully prepared when it happens. That way, it will not take you by surprise when it actually occurs and you will be far more emotionally and physically prepared.
To make sure that your birth goes exactly the way you want it, you should also draw up a comprehensive birth plan. This is essentially a list of instructions to the hospital you have chosen to go to or to the midwife that will help you deliver the baby at home. It explains your approach (natural or managed), the methods of pain relief that you want, whether you prefer to give birth alone or be accompanied by your husband, friend, or doula, and any other specific requirements that you may have. You may want to state that you want a waterbirth or access to a shower, beanbags, or have music playing softly in the background.
You may, of course find out that your choices are governed by factors that are beyond your control. For instance, if your doctor tells you that for medical reasons a vaginal birth is impossible, your choices will now be affected by how to manage the best type of caesarean section and where you would choose to have it. In such a situation, there is little point in learning breathing exercises, and you can better use the time finding out about the dynamics of a caesarean section and the best ways to recover more easily and quickly.
Did you have a caesarean section for your previous birth, but now you want to try having a vaginal birth? If so, you should ask your doctor whether this is possible and everything that you need to know.
If you find that you have a very strong fear of childbirth that is preventing you from feeling relaxed, you may find it useful to visit a counsellor or therapist. There is nothing wrong with getting professional guidance in this situation, and it will only help you.
Giving Birth is a Very Positive Experience : At first glance, all of this may sound very overwhelming, and there seem to be so many details to take into account. But remember that labour and birth form one of the most positive experiences of your life – bringing your own little baby into the world. It is an experience that you will never forget, and many women always remember that wonderful feeling of exhilaration when, after all your efforts, your newborn baby is placed into your arms for the first time.
And remember – a lot of those dramatic movie scenes that you have watched are very exaggerated and far from the truth. The pain of labour and delivery is an extremely healthy form of pain that is in fact the sign that your body is working. Work with it, and you will be fine. And if you are still feeling nervous or worried, remind yourself that all of your preparations will be worth it in the end when you finally hold that amazing little bundle of new life in your arms.
Cost Effective and Hassle Free Birth in the UAE
Having a baby in the UAE can be an expensive business. With prenatal care for the mother costing up to Dh6,000 and the birth costing as much as Dh25,000 depending on whether it’s a natural or Caesarean delivery, it’s not something parents to be can take lightly. Once they’ve also factored in antenatal classes, postnatal care and the possibility their child may need neonatal care after birth, they’re looking at a minimum bill of between Dh20,000 and Dh30,000. And that’s without all the new furniture and equipment they need to buy for their precious bundle of joy, not to mention the cost of actually bringing up the child. With estimates of between Dh1.26 million and Dh2.52m to raise a child to the age of 18 in the UAE, dependent on the school they attend, that’s a tall financial order.
“Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a good deal when it comes to having a baby in the UAE,” says Cecile de Scally, a Dubai-based midwife educator. “And you can’t really predict how much it is going to cost. Your insurance policy may not cover maternity at all or only cover a limited amount, so if you have a budget of Dh8,000 and the birth ends up costing Dh14,000, you’ve got to make up the shortfall
1. Pick a hospital
The most important part of the process is finding a hospital that you want to deliver in. But before you latch onto a doctor you like or choose a hospital because your best friend said it was great, compare prices first. There is a good choice of private and government-run hospitals in the UAE and the difference in cost can ease the burden for those on a tight budget.
A normal delivery at Dubai’s City Hospital or Welcare Hospital with a two-day stay in a private room costs Dh11,000. But if your birth is an instrumental delivery (with forceps or vacuum), this can bump up your outlay to Dh13,400, while a Caesarean costs Dh22,500. Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Hospital charges Dh10,000 for a normal delivery and from Dh10,000 to Dh14,000 for a Caesarean. At Sharjah’s Al Zahra Hospital, prices start at Dh6,900 for a basic normal delivery package with a one-night stay. A three-night stay will set you back Dh10,350.
For some, it’s not just the hospital that’s important, but also the exclusivity of the room. At Dubai’s City Hospital, for instance, a four-day stay in the Royal Suite following a Caesarean can set you back Dh95,000 compared with Dh22,500 for a standard private room.
Dubai’s government-run Al Wasl Hospital is considered the “no frills” choice, but while you may not receive the upmarket feel of a private establishment, its maternity unit has a great reputation.
Charges for a normal delivery package with a two-night stay in a shared ward costs Dh7,000. This rises to Dh9,000 for a private room, Dh10,000 for a Caesarean delivery in a shared ward or Dh12,000 for a private room. If you do choose a government hospital, make sure you register at it before the birth and that you have a health card, which costs up to Dh310 for expatriates.
Also, remember to check for hidden extra costs: epidurals, which normally cost about Dh2,000, medication and blood transfusions are often not included in the package. Having twins, triplets or more will cost you more, too, with each baby setting you back an extra Dh3,500 for a normal delivery and Dh5,000 for a Caesarean.
And anything from the baby needing resuscitation after the birth to your husband choosing to stay overnight in the room with you will cost extra. Some hospitals also charge for the baby’s nappies and wet wipes, so read the small print.
2. Choose an antenatal package
Once you’ve decided on the hospital, the next step is to book an antenatal package. These usually include up to 10 visits to your obstetrician of choice in the run up to the big day and most of the essential tests.
Dubai’s Al Wasl charges Dh5,000 for up to 10 visits, City and Welcare Hospital charge Dh5,175 from week 12 and Dh3,350 from week 28, Sharjah’s Al Zahra Hospital charges Dh4,000 for up to 12 visits and Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Hospital charges Dh275 per consultation.
Some people also choose to have all their antenatal care at their local clinic and their consultant will deliver their child at their hospital. This can also make delivery cheaper. For example, a community physician normal delivery package at the American Hospital costs Dh8,250 as opposed to Dh11,590 if you use the hospital’s own doctors.
You will often be asked to pay the antenatal package fee up front and remember, once again certain tests are not included in those packages, particularly specialised screening tests and blood tests and injections if your blood group is Rh Negative, so be prepared for extra costs.
3. Take Antenatal Classes
Developing an understanding about the birth process is an important way to ensure the delivery is as smooth and pain free as possible, so book in for some antenatal classes.
Prices range from as low as Dh600 to Dh1,800, depending on how many sessions there are and whether it’s a group or individual class. They usually start 24 to 28 weeks into the pregnancy to give you enough time to complete the programme before you give birth. The classes cover every eventuality of delivery, pain relief, understanding your newborn and feeding.
“Knowledge is empowerment when it comes to antenatal education. The more a couple is prepared for what to expect during labour, delivery and the postnatal period, the more likely they will be able to cope successfully with the challenges of parenthood,” says Ms Kirby, who offers antenatal classes through her website.
Ms de Scally, who runs weekly three-hour sessions at Little Wonders Nursery in Dubai, charges Dh1,500 for four group classes and one individual session. “Insurance companies don’t generally pay for antenatal classes, so it is another expense for new parents. But it’s also essential, especially for first-time parents,” she says.
4. Decide on your support system
Some mothers prefer to have the help of a doula – a woman with no medical experience who has been trained to help provide emotional support and physical comfort during labour.
“This is particularly important in the Middle East, where women are often far away from home and therefore in an unfamiliar medical environment or their husbands are working outside the UAE and may not be available on the day. A doula will usually be on hand for two to three consultations before the birth and then stay with you for the duration of the labour, whether it is two hours or 36 hours.
The hourly rate for a doula varies from Dh100 to Dh600, depending on the level of education and experience she has,” says Ms Kirby. “Some doulas have attended a three-day workshop, others have worked for many years with mothers and babies, have attended hundreds of births and may even be lactation consultants. It all varies.”
5. Check your insurance
How much maternity cover you have depends on whether you arrange the policy yourself or if it’s a corporate policy with your employer. The amount of cover varies from company to company and what people are willing to pay for.
“In most cases, the normal pregnancy and childbirth benefits is up to US$10,000 [Dh36,730], but some plans offer full cover for complications, while others limit this,” says Keren Bobker, a financial adviser with Holborn Assets and the On Your Side columnist for Personal Finance.
“If you are arranging your own cover, choose a plan from an insurance company, select a level of cover and purchase an add-on maternity plan that offers a specific level of cover. The difference with corporate policies is that you usually have to accept the terms offered, which the employer has negotiated. Anyone on an Abu Dhabi visa must have medical insurance provided for them by their employer and for most people, this must include maternity cover. This is not the case in the other emirates.”
For those wanting to upgrade their corporate plans, they need to check if the scheme or employers will allow this. Alternatively, if a company-sponsored scheme does not include maternity cover, you can pay for this additional plan yourself. But remember, selecting maternity as a policy add on does not ensure it is activated immediately.
“In most cases, you have to have been covered for between nine and 12 months before any maternity-related claims can be made,” says Ms Bobker.
Also note that the issue of insurance is not only a concern for you, but also your unborn child, who is not automatically covered by your policy. To get cover, the insurance company needs to be notified of the child’s existence and, while some companies back date that cover to the birth, others don’t unless you notify them within a certain time period.
6. Register the birth
Registering your baby’s birth may not set you back financially because it should cost no more than Dh300, depending on the hospital and emirate you deliver in. But you will need to set aside a chunk of time to get all the paperwork done. As well as the Arabic birth certificate issued by the hospital, you may need an English copy, which requires getting it translated and attested by your emirate’s health and foreign affairs ministries.
You have 30 days to complete this process before the next step: getting your child a passport, another cost to factor in, and then a residence visa, which must be done within 120 days of your child’s birth and will cost about Dh100 for each year of residence plus Dh115.
7. Get help after the birth
In the UAE, the first contact a new mother has with a doctor is six weeks after the birth at a routine appointment with her obstetrician. But a lot can happen in six weeks and issues such as feeding difficulties and postnatal depression can be missed. Although many other countries offer free in-home support for new mothers, in the UAE you need to pay for this service.
“After the birth, postnatal support is equally important and many mums cannot afford that extra cost, particularly if all the money they’ve put aside has been used up in the birth,” says Ms de Scally, who advises putting some cash aside to help you with your needs when you get home.
Thankfully, more UAE hospitals and clinics are now offering postnatal support services with qualified midwives that include home visits, lactation consultations and baby-care classes to make the transition into parenthood as smooth as possible.
How painful is birth? What are the very early signs of Labour? How long is the average labor for a first baby? How much do you need to be dilated to give birth? How many fingers is 4 cm dilated? How many cm Do you have to be dilated to get an epidural? Do epidurals affect the baby? How long does an epidural last for?